The True Effects Of the Australian Bush Fires on the Wildlife

The True Effects Of the Australian Bush Fires on the Wildlife

Since Australia entered its “bushfire” season in June 2019, there has been continuous forest fires occurring throughout the continent.

The most current and devasting one, has not stopped since the beginning of the season.

In 2019, Australia reported this season as being the driest since 1900.

Studies On When And How The Fires Will Subside Are Underway

The New South Wales Territory (NSW) – home to country’s capital, Sydney – was one of the most impacted territories in Australia.

Over the past few weeks, rainfall has helped firefighters to distinguish the enormous fires, which spread over 12-million acres in NSW. Because of these massive fires, animals have perished in consequence.

Using a report he worked on in 2007 with WWF (the World Wildlife Fund), a biodiversity expert at the University of Sydney. Chris Dickman, found the estimates of how many animals perished in this seasons forest fires. 

In the beginning of January, the estimates reached around 500-million animals lost. However, a month later, these numbers have been projected to reach near one-billion animals who perished in the fires.

This Spell Certain Disaster For Many Native Species

Currently, Australia has over 80 species (mammals, fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, etc.) who are considered “Critically Endangered.”

As the fires start to slow down, over time, researchers will be able to see which species have been lost and who made it out of the path of the flames.

The Koala, which is a local species to Australia, was one of the most impacted mammals due to their habitation of living in trees.

According to Australia’s Environmental Minister, Sussan Ley, over 30% of the almost endangered species has been lost in the fires: (before the fires, the koala’s population reached no more than 80,000 in 2019).

Another native species, the Kangaroo is also facing a serious threat to extinction. After the popular island, Kangaroo Island, was suggested to have also been seriously affected by the fires.

Even when the animals flee from the fires, there are just other fires they eventually run into. Also, once the fires come to an end, the animals who do survive face the challenge of trying to find food in the burnt landscapes.

So, even though the forest fires have been catastrophic to many animals, the threat of dying from the loss of habitation will hang over the animals as time passes. 

Although their habitats will take time to recover, organizations, such as RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Australia), have been collecting donations. As well as working to help rescue and treat all kinds of animals who have been impacted by the fires.